There’s no doubt about it, the rise of the beardy man continues apace. The trend for facial hair is here to stay and we can rejoice in that. With beards now becoming a proper staple of men’s grooming routine the emphasis is on ‘how’ and not ‘if’ you should grow one.
Just as with hair styles, beards are most definitely not a one size fits all phenomenon. The shape of your face (and how much face fuzz you can grow) will determine the type of beard you can and should grow. Don’t shy away from a beard, embrace it and be happy that there are so many different ways to make it look and feel its best.
Here are some tips to choosing the right beard for your face shape, and also the best ways to grow and maintain a beard, long term. You’ll see it’s a real science. It might help you to take the plunge if you’ve been wondering whether to try growing a beard for the first time, or give you some ideas as to why you’ve maybe grown a beard in the past but felt it didn’t ever look or feel quite right.
First of all, a few words about working out the shape of your face. It isn’t complicated and all you need to hand is a flexible tape measure. You’ll need to take a few measurements as you go, so you might need pen and paper to write them down (or have your trusty smartphone to hand).
It’s really worth noting that if you’ve tried to grow a beard before and felt it hasn’t gone quite right, that it could all be down to the fact you’ve grown the wrong type of beard for your face shape.
Growing, and then trimming and keeping on top of the growth is one thing but knowing where the best places are to concentrate on growth or keep it to a minimum is another. Knowing and understanding the shape of your face is key to all this – and it unlocks a whole new level of beardy science that was hitherto unknown.
There are three separate points you need to measure on your face. We’ll cover all these for each shape of face as we go along. Then you’ll need to measure its length:
Firstly, measure across your face from one eyebrow arch to the other. Use the peak of one arch as the starting point.
Next measure across your cheekbones. Make sure you start and end at the pointiest part, which is below the corner of each eye.
Then measure your Jawline from the tip of your chin and end below your ear, at the point at which your jaw starts to angle up. To get your final measurement, multiply this figure by two.
Finally, you’ll need to ascertain your face length. To do this, you’ll need to measure from the center of your hairline to the tip of your chin.
Make a note of all these measurements. Take note which is the largest of the four and then compare this to the list of face shape profiles to find out which category your face falls into! Now the fun begins. You can choose your beard!
This is a face shape in which the length of the face is greater than the width of the cheekbones. The forehead will be greater than the jawline. The jawline will have a rounded rather than a sharp angle.
With this face shape, the length of the face will be the largest measurement. The forehead, jawline and cheeks will all be similar in size.
Here, the jawline will have a greater measurement than the cheekbones. These will have a larger measurement than the forehead.
In a round face shape, the cheekbones and length of the face will have a similar measurement. They are larger than the forehead and jaw. The jaw will have a softer and less defined angle.
With a heart shape face, the forehead will measure larger than the cheekbones and the jaw line. With this type of face, the chin will be pointed.
With a face that is square in shape, all it’s measurements will be similar. The jaw will be sharp and have no roundness to it.
This face shape is the one that measures the largest. It has a pointed chin. Cheekbones will have the next largest measurement, then the forehead, then the jawline.
From looking at our descriptions, if you recognize your face shape as being oval then you’re really lucky, as it means that you’ve a real variety of beard styles and shapes that will suit your face.
This is because an oval face is both square and round at the same time, meaning that there’s no one feature that needs balancing out over the others. All you need to do is select the style of bear you want and then focus on looking after it neatly and properly.
However, it doesn’t mean that because you suit a number of styles you should always chop and change. Opt for something timeless, stylish and classic that can be tweaked here and there. A good shape or style to choose is something that is squared at the jaw, with clean lines at the cheeks. It should be short at the sides and cut properly underneath.
This is the sort of look that has the true weight of a ‘full’ proper beard but with proper definition to keep it looking smart, trendy and on point.
No jokes about having a long face from us. A rectangular face can be lucky in terms of choosing a beard, as it allows you to basically let your face hair grow and see what it can achieve of its own accord – providing of course it matches your hairstyle.
Long, triangular or pointy beards are a no-no for this face shape. You’re best trying to aim for a beard that has ‘fuller’ cheeks. This will give the illusion of a wider jaw, and make sure that attention is taken away from noticing how long your face is.
Give the beard some width and try (if possible) to grow some facial hair higher up the cheeks too. This will stop your face from looking too elongated.
The aim with a face of this shape is to take attention away from a chin that might be more prominent than on other face shapes.
Think about it as being the opposite of a heart shape face (which we will cover in a moment). The simplest way to grow a beard on a triangular shaped face is to aim for something that’s a cross between a beard and a mustache, so a mustache with a short beard and some stubble, effectively. This is a seriously cool look that will mean people focus their attention higher up your face and don’t focus on your chin.
Avoid anything that is too ‘full’ or adds too much hair to the cheek area. This will give the impression of a wider jawline, which is something that you really don’t need with this type of face shape. However, you could also try and grow some funky sideburns further down your face. Keep them squared off at the bottom and make sure they don’t grow too long in the chin.
With a round face it’s about creating angles and making sure that your beard doesn’t become so overgrown that it turns your head into a ball shape!
Go for a triangular shaped style, a beard that is shorter on the cheeks and is longer towards the chin. This will flatter your face and give a slightly more slimming illusion.
Think about a goatee style, with stubble on the cheeks to give an impression of a pronounced chin.
With a heart shaped face, you need to add a bit of ballast. No man ever wants to be accused of having a weak chin. Fortunately for those with a heart shape face, there is a way to add ballast with a beard.
It’s a smaller face shape so you need to be careful that your face doesn’t end up taken over by facial hair. Its best to try and grow some designer stubble on the sides that will give you a bearded look, without overpowering the natural structure of your bones. Leave a little more length in the chin and the mustache which will give some extra pep to your jawline.
A strong, square jaw is seen by some as the epitome of manliness, when it comes to facial hair. However, it can have some limitations when trying to grow something stronger than a bit of stubble
You want to aim to grow something that rounds off the chin area or makes it more triangular. Trying to lengthen the chin with a goatee will help to soften wide jawlines and give a more chiseled look. It can also help to draw attention further up the face and more towards the eyes.
A diamond shaped face is widest at the cheeks, and it has a narrow forehead and jawline. They should be symmetrical in width.
The goal with a beard for this face shape should always be to not have so much hair on the cheekbones and keep most of it for the chin. This should be squared off to give the illusion of having a more balanced bone structure.
Keep your beard trimmed too, and make sure it doesn’t grow too long. Especially on the chin. Go wider on the cheeks and jawbone, so that it squares off the bottom half of your face. Avoiding a mustache will give emphasis to your cheeks and jawline.
So, what do you think? Having read this, is a beard something you could happily try? It’s not just a one size fits all approach any more. There are so many different styles and options to try, so why not give it a go.